The number one thing to do immediately after a Maryland automobile accident is to write down the other driver’s license tag number. I don’t care if you have to pull lipstick out of your pocketbook and write the number on a Styrofoam cup, scribble it in pen on your arm, or ask the paramedic to write it on his notepad while you’re being loaded into the ambulance. The simple fact is that failure to do this one thing could be fatal to any future claim you may want to pursue against the responsible party.
Here’s why. If you’ve been in a Maryland car crash, you are going to need to get your property damage fixed as well as be compensated for any injury you’ve sustained. Provided the other driver is at fault, he or she is responsible to take care of those damages. Unfortunately, not every person you come across is honest. In fact, there’s a ton of people in this world that will look you straight in the face and lie to you. Especially if they think their insurance rates are going to go up because they were at fault for the accident. They may give you false information about their insurance company or their home address and phone number.
Remember, the police do not respond to every single Maryland motor vehicle accident. People are afraid to lie to the police but won’t think twice about lying to you.
Thus getting the other driver’s tag number insures that if you are given bad information by the defendant you’ll still be able to get the information that you need.
All you simply need to do is run a tag check through the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration or the many online companies that provide this service and you’ll be able to get the correct name, address, insurance company, and insurance policy number of the other driver.
The phone number for the Maryland MVA is 1-800-950-1682. Out of state callers should dial 301-729-4550.
Here is an online tag check companies who provide this service for a fee:
I know what you’re thinking. All you need to do at the scene of the accident is write down the other driver’s information off of his driver’s license. That usually works but not all the time. People frequently change their address and fail to notify the MVA. Maryland law requires an individual to notify the MVA within 30 days of an address change but many people just don’t bother.
Even if you get accurate information from the responsible party’s license, you still won’t have the insurance information. Maryland licenses don’t contain that information. So you have to hope that you’re given the proper insurance details by the defendant. As we’ve discussed, it’s like rolling dice.
The consequence of not being able to get accurate personal and insurance information from the person that just smashed up your vehicle? You’ve now got no one to pay for your messed up vehicle and your mangled body.
Don’t make the mistake of leaving the scene of a Maryland auto accident without securing the other driver’s tag number!!!